We’re four episodes in and it seems the truth – or parts of it, at least – is starting to emerge. But who will Chae Won believe? And, more importantly, who can she trust?
Episode 4: After examining Chae Won, the doctor confirms what we already know: she’s allergic to kiwis (the fruit, not New Zealanders) and needs to take more care, else the strength of her body’s reaction could kill her. Eep. The doctor also refers to Se Yoon as Chae Won’s husband, a fact neither refute.
Se Yoon notes wryly that although he’s a bachelor, he’s constantly being referred to as a married man. Her response is merely to smile slightly – and a little sheepishly – and to thank him for saving her life yet again.
Choon Hee’s café is empty when Kang Jin swaggers in and so he decides to gift her with a song, only to be told to shut his mouth: he’s spitting over her carefully prepared rice cakes. Ha! Awesome.
She hands out the rice cakes to her new neighbours and has a run-in with Hyo Dong and his mother-in-law, the latter of whom insults her by first refusing her rice cakes and then by calling her a bar madam.
On the drive “home”, when Chae Won comments that the empty can moniker Se Yoon gave her a few days before is appropriate, as she feels “blank, from head to toe”, he responds that sometimes having to live with your memories is more torturous than having no memories at all. I get where you’re coming from, Se Yoon, but that’s a heck of a lot easier to say when you’re not the one with amnesia.
Chae Won returns home to a “worried” phone call from the witch, who feigns shock and concern when she hears of her daughter-in-law’s hospitalisation. Outside, Se Yoon asks his sunbae about that patient, the one called Min Chae Won…
Meanwhile, Chae Won’s father, Hyo Dong, arrives at Choon Hee’s café, armed with a plant and an adorably practiced congratulatory speech. When he goes inside, however, he’s dismayed (and more than a little jealous) to find all of the local playas seated around Choon Hee. He storms off in a huff, leaving his plant on the stairs.
Kang Jin calls and Ki Ok comes running. Ostensibly they meet to discuss their musical performance, but the conversation devolves into a discussion about his marital status. She thinks he’s a widower; he insists he’s never married and is a bachelor by choice. Whatever. Their loveline creeps me out, so the less said about them, the better.
At home, Chae Won wonders if she’s always had that pesky kiwi allergy, and why – aside from a few articles of clothing – none of her belongings are actually in the house. The housekeeper confirms that, yup, she’s always been allergic and, yup, everyone knows it. Before she can get to the meat of the matter and tell Chae Won what her life in the house was really like, the evil witch appears.
She, of course, blames the restaurant (as though they should’ve known of Chae Won’s allergies, pfft) and, when Chul Gyu returns home, the witch advises Chae Won not to say anything… because he might worry. Suuuure. And it has nothing to do with the fact that he’d think (perhaps rightly) that you were trying to murder his wife?
Then again, he might not. Chul Gyu, clueless as ever, thinks that his mother has turned over a new leaf and really does love Chae Won as a daughter now. Thankfully, Chae Won is no fool and, even without her memories, knows that something’s rotten in the house of Kim Bang.
Chul Gyu once again hugs Chae Won who, once again, looks extremely uncomfortable. Then he says it: he hopes she never regains her memories, because he likes her more as an amnesiac. Uh, say what now? Really, honey, if all you wanted was a quiet, pretty girl with no memories and little personality, you should’ve just bought a blow-up doll. (just sayin.)
The witch calls Se Yoon and proceeds to thoroughly weird him out by asking what he thinks of Chae Won. She’s like a super-creepy matchmaker, but Se Yoon puts thoughts of her from his mind when his mother comes in with a new suit for him to wear for his ‘comeback’ the following day.
Noodle factory. Evening. Grandpa has come up with a clever plan to either reel the kids in to loving the noodle factory, or perhaps to punish them for not loving it at all: he wants the equivalent of $5,000 from each of them by month’s end. Well, that’s just crazy talk.
The children are all just as stunned as I am, but find they can’t refuse, much to their – and their respective partners’ – dismay.
Chae Won tries to sleep that night, next to an oblivious Chul Gyu, but thoughts of the witch and her evil kiwi juice scheme keep her awake.
The following day, Se Yoon returns to the business world and is greeted by his subordinates, one of whom is Ki Moon, Chae Won’s uncle. Her sister-in-law, meanwhile, continues to follow Se Yoon like the creepy stalker she is; worse, she’s actually managed to wrangle a job in his company (presumably the one she claimed to have gained without any special treatment, which… I can’t say I believe).
Se Yoon’s mother interrupts their conversation and eyes Joo Ri rather noticeably – taking in her pretty face and discreetly expensive clothing; upon hearing that the two knew each other in America, she lights up. She practically has a wedding bell in each hand, ready to ring, when Se Yoon tells her to stop: she’d promised to lay off the marriage talk when he agreed to return to Korea, after all, and she relents with a smile.
Their conversation is interrupted by Choon Hee, who’s calling to exchange travel bags with Se Yoon. They agree to meet the following day, and Choon Hee examines Se Yoon’s photograph, wondering who’s lucky enough to have such a handsome son. I… have a theory on this, but will expound further in the musings section of this recap.
Back to the $5,000 problem. The kids all agree that they would pay the money if they had it, but Ki Choon and his ex definitely don’t and as for Ki Ok, well, she can barely afford her rent and offers a package of abalone in place of the money. Grandma suggests that Hyo Dong give the abalone as a gift to his in-laws and he happily agrees.
Chae Won seems to be on some sort of medication (hopefully she won’t keep taking the blue pill) and the witch remarks that, given the weak state her body’s in, she should take every precaution not to fall pregnant. Chae Won looks rather surprised – perhaps wondering if immaculate conception is really possible? – and then very uneasy when her husband comes in and, pleased with their new ‘closeness’, gives his mother a big, uncomfortably close hug.
Hyo Dong hands over the abalone and, after being told that the kids have prolonged their stay in Canada and will be back in about 10 days, turns to leave. Luckily, the lie is discovered when both Chul Gyu and Chae Won come down the stairs for dinner.
Poor Chae Won has to be introduced to her own father (sob) and when he hears that she’s lost her memory, he tears up and begs her to try to remember. All this does, however, is place additional stress on Chae Won and she glances away, unable to meet his eyes.
Hyo Dong gives the witch what-for for lying to him about his daughter’s condition and blames them for what’s happened to her; he tells the family that he can’t trust them with his child and will take her home with him. But Chae Won – silly, silly Chae Won – decides not to go with him.
Distraught, Hyo Dong stumbles from the house, leaving behind a smugly satisfied witch and a weeping daughter.
But! On the sidewalk outside, Chae Won stops him and tries to explain how alone and scared she feels and Hyo Dong, like a good father, tells her that he understands and that she isn’t to worry about him. And Chae Won genuinely smiles for the first time in… well, I can’t remember the last time she actually smiled in or even near that house, which is telling in and of itself.
Se Yoon’s sunbae has come up with a little dirt on Chae Won’s hospital stay, namely: that she was treated for depression and derangement, but the staff said she seemed quite normal. Put it together, Se Yoon! You can do it; I know you can!
A shell-shocked Hyo Dong shares a drink or twenty with Choon Hee and weeps over the state of his beloved daughter. His mother-in-law comes across the two in a drunken embrace and, horrified, drags him home.
Our OTP meet and Se Yoon sets out what he knows: they first met in a mental hospital she’d been admitted to, but the staff said there seemed to be nothing wrong with her. As Chae Won wonders whether she was ever really sick, or if she was confined against her will, Se Yoon gets up to leave, claiming that he’s done his duty and his conscience is now clear. So, you know, goodbye and all that.
He walks away after refusing to help her solve the mystery; she clutches her head, confused by the conflicting stories and unsure of who to believe: her husband, or this cold stranger…
Musings: Well, I know who I’d choose to believe, but then, I’m in possession of knowledge that Chae Won is not. And, y’know, it’s Lee Jung Jin: I’d believe him if he told me the moon was made of cheese. Mmm, cheese…
ANYWAY. I’m liking the story thus far, and Eugene is really selling a character who could – if played another way – be seen as doormat. Instead, she’s vulnerable, sad and lonely and I just want to hug her and make all the monsters go away.
I’m not sure I really like Se Yoon just yet, though, because although he clearly has a heart beneath that stoic exterior, he also seems to have this barrier of inapproachability in place, one that firmly discourages personal contact or warmth. But I guess the potential of that barrier slowly coming down and that heart opening up is why this drama is slated for 50 episodes and not 16, right?
Speaking of (well, of Se Yoon, not the episode count), I have a theory and that the theory is as follows: given how uneasy Se Yoon’s mother is when it comes to Choon Hee, that Choon Hee has returned after 30 years away, and that Sul Joo was apparently only allowed to register her marriage with Se Yoon’s father after she’d given birth to a son… I believe that Choon Hee is Se Yoon’s biological mother. What do you guys think? Does it make sense, or have I simply been watching too many melos? *g*
Hope you’re all enjoying the show, and keep an eye out for more recaps in the days to come!